July 28, 2016 / 6:57 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St mixed as tech titans tee up quarterly reports

* Oil prices drop 2 pct

* Ford falls 8 pct, weighs most on S&P 500

* Amazon, Alphabet due to report after the bell

* Indexes: Dow -0.11 pct, S&P +0.12 pct, Nasdaq +0.24 pct (Updates to afternoon, adds detail on tech companies)

By Noel Randewich

July 28 (Reuters) - Wall Street was mixed on Thursday as investors fretted about disappointing earnings from Ford and awaited quarterly scorecards from technology heavyweights Alphabet and Amazon.com.

It was the 10th session of range-bound trading following a sharp rally in late June and early July that hit record highs and has left the S&P 500 up 6 percent for the year.

Amazon.com rose 1.5 percent as investors anticipated its quarterly results after the bell, with Google parent-company Alphabet also due to report.

“Tech has been pretty much the strongest sector over the last month. Momentum players are focusing to buy on pullbacks,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors in San Antonio. “With Amazon, if it’s a good beat we will be off to the races because it’s already pushing up to 52-week highs.”

Earlier, Ford reported weak China sales and declared that the U.S. auto industry’s long recovery was at an end, triggering a 8.6-percent fall in its shares. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 index.

The carmaker’s dismal forecast rattled the wider automobile market, with shares of General Motors falling 3.2 percent and Fiat Chrysler 4.6 percent.

Apple rose 1 percent, giving the S&P 500 its biggest lift.

A report by the U.S. Labor Department showed that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits rose more than expected to 266,000 for the week ended July 22.

At 2:40 pm, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.11 percent at 18,451.04 points and the S&P 500 had risen 0.12 percent to 2,169.26.

The Nasdaq Composite added 0.24 percent to 5,152.36.

Seven of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the consumer staples sector up 0.4 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.11-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.13-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 32 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 107 new highs and 24 new lows. (Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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